Prenatal origins of carpal fusions



As shown in 138 embryos and fetuses in the 40–285 mm crownrump length range, carpal and carpal-metacarpal “fusions” arise from incomplete separation of the cartilaginous precursors rather than from failure of initiation, thus accounting for the “fusions” seen in postnatal radiographs and the grooves that are evident enough in adult fusions. Radiographs selected from over 20,000 apparently normal individuals provide postnatal counterparts for the prenatal examples shown in histological sections.